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New Tool Helps Marketers Avoid Election Year Squeeze

With election advertising set to swallow up billions of dollars of ad inventory in 2016, non-political marketers are concerned about being squeezed out of the market when they need to reach consumers.

Viamedia, an ad-tech company that sells commercials for cable operators and other local outlets, has created a new tool called the Political Audience Extension Tool set to help advertisers plan, purchase and manage TV inventory as campaign season heats up.

Working with data from Rentrak, Viamedia helps advertisers predict when advertising will be in highest demand and on which channels, allowing media buyers to identify alternatives to capture similar audiences.

Viamedia, which also works with political advertisers, estimates that 80% of the campaign spending it does will be spent on nine cable networks. Those are ESPN, Fox News, TBS, USA, HGTV, CNN, TNT, Food Network and MSNBC. That leaves dozens of other channels relatively uncrowded.

“Given the current estimates on political ad spending this election, it’s more pressing than ever that advertisers and political campaigns plan ahead if they want to engage their targeted audience from now until November 2016,” said Viamedia CEO Mark Lieberman. “We saw an immediate need from all advertisers for a strategic resource, so we worked with Rentrak, leveraging its massive TV measurement footprint.”

Rentrak’s data has been used by a number of political campaigns to target specific groups of likely voters with appropriate messages. It is based on set-top box information from 35 million TVs.

“Viamedia has had great success leveraging Rentrak’s data in the past, providing innovative resources for advertisers targeting segmented markets such as healthcare, legal services and more,” said Carol Hinnant, Rentrak’s senior VP of national television sales. “Knowing the significance of Viamedia’s latest installment, the Political Audience Extension Toolset, we were thrilled when they approached us to help develop the solution.”

Jon has been business editor of Broadcasting+Cable since 2010. He focuses on revenue-generating activities, including advertising and distribution, as well as executive intrigue and merger and acquisition activity. Just about any story is fair game, if a dollar sign can make its way into the article. Before B+C, Jon covered the industry for TVWeek, Cable World, Electronic Media, Advertising Age and The New York Post. A native New Yorker, Jon is hiding in plain sight in the suburbs of Chicago.